Solving problems is what Harvey ''Chet" Krentzman did best.
''He loved being a mentor. He was always trying to help both his family and people he didn't know," said his son, Scott of Newton.
Mr. Krentzman, an entrepreneur from Newton who owned and operated a business consulting firm, died Friday at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston. He was 79.
Mr. Krentzman started Advanced Management Associates during the 1950s in an effort to help solve the problems of small businesses and units of larger companies. In 1959 he helped to create the Small Business Institute at Northeastern University's School of Continuing Education and in 1968 he wrote ''Managing for Profits," which served as a practical guide to help entrepreneurs to connect business theory to day-to-day operations.
Mr. Krentzman also helped create the annual Presidents at Pops concert, which has raised tens of millions of dollars for the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the past 24 years, said Mark Volpe, managing director of the orchestra.
Mr. Krentzman was born and raised in Chelsea. For two years during World War II he served in the Army as a staff sergeant. In 1949 he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University. In 1950 he received a master's degree from Harvard University's Graduate School of Engineering and also received a master's degree in business from Harvard in 1952. Mr. Krentzman was also awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration in 1991 from Northeastern. In 1996 the university dedicated its main quadrangle on Huntington Avenue, known as Krentzman quad, in honor of the alumnus and trustee emeritus.
''Chet Krentzman lived a classic Northeastern story," said Northeastern President Richard Freeland. ''Modest beginnings, good, huge talent, good hard work matched with entrepreneurial creativity all lead to sustained success and in Chet's case, a spirit of philanthropy in which Boston and its institutions, Northeastern included, greatly benefited."
During the 1950s Mr. Krentzman worked for various companies until he decided to create his own opportunities.
Mr. Krentzman was a lifelong trustee of the Boston Symphony. He was a trustee of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and was past president of Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Newton.
In addition to his son, he leaves his wife, Farla; another son, Mark of New York; a sister, Dolly Tushman of Medford; and seven grandchildren.
Services are scheduled for Tuesday at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Newton. Burial will follow at Chebra Kadisha Cemetery in Everett.